Free Trials for Elements - Author FAQs

Hi all. We’re introducing a Free Trials program for Envato Elements, taking the most successful aspects of the experiment we ran in February. If you were involved in the previous trial, there have been some changes based on your feedback - this thread should be able to answer any questions you have.

What’s changing?

On Wednesday 27 October 2021, we have launched a new Free Trials program for Elements. This builds on the pilot test that we conducted during February, and aims to improve the rate at which we bring new subscribers into Elements. We’re focusing on improving our conversion rate, as this provides a win for both Authors and Envato by improving monthly earnings.

Why are we making this change?

Our February test demonstrated that customers who have access to a trial are more likely to take out a paid subscription to Elements. The newest version of the free trial program incorporates the most successful aspects of our previous tests:

  • 7-day Free Trial period.
  • Available to new subscribers only.
  • Valid payment details must be provided prior to starting a Free Trial.

Authors will be paid for item usage by Free Trial customers. We’ve made some improvements to the payment process, based on feedback from the previous test:

  • Items licenced by Free Trial users will be paid according to the same Subscriber Share method as all other Elements content.
  • This will be included in your existing “item usage” income, which is made up of usage from several types of subscription.
  • Income from Free Trials will be paid in your regular Author Earnings payout on the 16th of each month.


Will I receive a separate payment for Free Trials usage?
No. Free Trials usage will be included in your “Item Usage” earnings, paid on the 16th of the month. We won’t be making a separate payment for Free Trials.

How are the Free Trials paid for?
Envato is funding the payments made to authors for items licensed from Free Trial users. Normal author earnings from paying subscribers (including the content bonus) are not used in any way. The funding is shared through the Subscriber Share model, so actual author earnings will vary based on which items are licensed.

When will I start seeing earnings from Free Trial users?
As the first Free Trials customers will begin downloading items on October 27th, this usage will be included in your December payout. After that, a portion of Item Earnings each month will come from Free Trial users.

Do Free Trials users download more content than paid subscribers?
No. We closely monitored this during the earlier test, and will continue to monitor subscriber behaviour. Our tests during the February test showed no significant differences in download behaviour between free and paid subscribers. However, customers who complete a Free Trial are more likely to continue on to a paid subscription.

How will customers find out about the Free Trials?
Beginning from today, some customers will see Free Trials messaging on the Elements site. We aren’t currently displaying this to all site visitors, as we are conducting more tests to determine the most effective way to present this messaging.

What’s next?

If you have any questions about Free Trials for Elements, please add them to this thread - we’ll answer these in batches, and will add them to this FAQ.


Again, poor customers who dont want to spend 30$ for unlimited downloads…
Absolutely the wrongest way to educate consumers, prices are going up everywhere, but here things are given away for free, and soon consumer will EXPECT to get things for free here because hold on, why should I pay for a digital asset to market my business? Paying for this kind of stuff is so 2000!
And then maybe I ll see my items from EE broadcasted on TV because there s no proper licensing for videos, not even on VH.

Thanks for devaluing an entire industry and ruining consumer perception forever.


Will we see those Free Trials earnings on our Earnings Report page?
For example, on Report I see $1000, but on the 16th I will get $1050 because of Free Trials.
Or it is strict: I see $1050 on Report, and I’ll get $1050 on the 16th.

If this practice will bring new customers, it would be win-win for everybody, both Envato and authors.


@secondfalseiteration Yes, any item usage earnings from Free Trials customers will be automatically included in your Earnings Report page. The amount you see on the report will be exactly the same as the amount in your monthly earnings payout.

@zvolia That’s definitely the plan! It’s what we saw in the data from our test back in February: customers who have a free trial are more likely to become paying subscribers, which provides more consistent earnings for everyone.

This is similar to the work we already do with paid marketing on other channels: we’re putting resources (paying for item usage) towards something that improves our conversion rate, and increases the number of paid subscribers each month.


On another note, as I know we have several Elements authors who also send customer traffic through via our Affiliate program: we ask that you don’t push the Free Trial offering via your marketing channels just yet.

The current offer isn’t displayed to all customers, as we’re currently running some more tests. Once the Free Trials are shown to all new site visitors, we’ll let you know and you can send across as many referrals as you like :slight_smile:

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Nice information. can I still create a coupon for a $1 trial?

Hi @ringgo123. This is separate from coupon-based trials - those are occasionally used for specific promotions like an event sponsorship, where a custom deal is offered for new subscribers.

Free Trials (7 day duration) are currently available to any new subscriber who sees the Free Trial promotion on the Elements homepage. After the current round of testing has finished, we’re likely to show the Free Trials offer to all new subscribers on Elements.

I’ve been using elements couple of times as a user, not an author, and I’ve bought a lot of products and subscriptions and courses over the years. I swear elements was the only one where I felt they’re giving me more value than what I’ve paid for. Which is of course great for customers, but what about authors. I hope envato knows what they’re doing, and hope they will not completely devalue all of this.